Sports center needs money

Recreation Center officials from Florida A&M University spoke to student senators Monday about further completion of the University Recreation Center.

Phase three of the building is in the works and phase two has yet to begin.

Monday’s senate meeting was held in FAMU’s Grand Ballroom to accompany the many guests that would speak about the construction plans of the recreation center.

President James Ammons was in attendance to present the layout of the building’s future designs and inform the senators about the budgeting of the building.

“We have been discussing the actual decisions for this next phase for quite sometime especially given the fact that we now have a new teaching gym,” Ammons said. “The decisions you make regarding the future of the recreation center is going to be important, not just for you, but for future Rattlers.”

According to the provided documents at the presentation, phase one of the recreation center was completed and opened in the summer of 2006 with a budget of over $9 million. Estimated budgets for phase two and three is over $3 million.

So far, the recreation center is only a fitness center, but there were plans to expand the building, which would include a rock climbing wall, racquetball courts and an indoor swimming pool. As of now, according to the JRA Architects Web site, the plans are on hold.

According to the funding and appropriation documents, 2008-2009 marked the year for phase three construction to begin, while 2005 marked the year for phase two to begin.

“We are just trying to finish this building,” said Associate Director of the Recreation Center Gei-Nam Lim. “We only have half of a building right now.”

Faculty member Jorge Olaves is in favor of the building being completed and informed students about the benefit of having an indoor pool.

Senior Senator Ashley Nelson pointed out that before FAMU decides to spend money on new projects like an indoor swimming pool, they must work on improving what it already has such as the outdoor pool that is no longer in function.

“I appreciate (University officials) coming up before the students with this issue, but I do think that if you are going to come forth, please come with a full spectrum,” Nelson said at the meeting.

Mr. FAMU-elect for the 2009-2010 school year, Brandon McCaskill agreed with Nelson’s statement.

“It sounds like we have a lot of unfinished business here at FAMU that we should sew up before we move forward then try to add on additions to something,” McCaskill said. “I would love to have an indoor swimming pool; however there are things that were suppose to have taken place a long time ago.”